Fiat Avventura vs Ford EcoSport Diesel Comparison Review

Crossing over may be a tough task but there are benefits on the other side as the Fiat Avventura and Ford EcoSport can amply prove. But which crossover should you go for? Let's find out



Fiat Avventura vs Ford EcoSport front static




It’s tough to comprehend the need of a crossover strictly restricted for road use in most parts of the world but in India, where the roads are often broken and a high ride height is a prerequisite in the buying decision, a crossover can make a lot of sense. Now there are two forms of crossovers, ones derived from hatchbacks and ones closer to the SUV clan and between the Fiat Avventura and the Ford EcoSport, we have a representation for both. With a spare wheel on the outside behind the rear hatch and rugged plastic cladding all around, these two cars are unique in the sub-4 metre segment. Neither the Cross Polo nor Etios Cross feel as purposeful as these two. So if you are looking for the more accomplished crossover then, which one would you choose?



Fiat Avventura vs Ford EcoSport rear static




Exterior styling/design

Crossovers aren’t meant to look attractive in the traditional sense of the word. They however need a rugged, built-to-take-a-pasting appearance and both cars here have gotten that spot on. The EcoSport is the more masculine of the two with its high set bonnet and headlights giving it borderline SUV proportions. The Avventura on the other hand looks clearly hatchback (Punto Evo) derived with its sloping bonnet. You do however get neat plastic cladding all round with a chunky skid plate integrated into the front bumper. 


In side profile, the EcoSport is almost 200mm taller and looks a little awkward next to the Avventura. The former gets 200mm of ground clearance while the latter despite being considerably shorter, stands 205mm above the road surface. Both come with 16 inch alloy wheels, the Avventura getting them as standard on all variants while the EcoSport offering it only on the top variant. 



Fiat Avventura vs Ford EcoSport static




Move towards the rear and the crossover signature styling, the rear mounted spare wheel will catch your attention. A spare wheel on the outside isn’t considered part of the length of the car when measured for excise duty and so both the Ford and the Fiat are classified under the small car tax structure. The EcoSport is a much better execution with the wheel mounted on the hatch opening. The made for India Avventura on the other hand is a shoddy job. The spare wheel is an opening in itself. A switch on the dashboard releases it and another lever needs to be pressed to unlock it from the outside. It doesn’t close as easily either and could have done with better engineering. 


The Avventura has better proportions and looks smarter while the EcoSport has a more cohesive design.


Fiat Avventura: Rating_3.5_rating

Ford EcoSport: Rating_3.5_rating



Fiat Avventura vs Ford EcoSport interior



Interior and space

Step into the cabin and you will find the EcoSport the more welcoming of the two. Comfortable leather seats and space inside the cabin due to its higher roofline makes the EcoSport a clear favourite to begin with. There is more storage space inside the cabin and the EcoSport gets the larger boot too. It is easier to load once you open the hatch compared to the deep and narrow one in the Avventura. The Fiat though looks classier on the inside with a cabin that will age well. Its design is similar to the Punto Evo but it comes with a soft touch grey insert on the dashboard and a set of dials to measure pitch, yaw and direction of travel. Gimmicky yes, but cool nonetheless. 



Fiat Avventura rear hatch




In the driver’s seat, the pedals in the Avventura are offset towards the right and the seats aren’t contoured right enough to get a good comfortable seating position which can make it tiresome over long distances. The EcoSport gives you a more comfortable seating position but the high set dashboard and thick A-pillar take a bit of getting used to. The higher roofline let Ford set the rear seats at a higher base height. It helps you sit higher but space at the back is quite good in the Avventura as well besides its lower seats.



Ford EcoSport rear hatch




Fiat Avventura: Rating_3.0_rating

Ford EcoSport: Rating_4.0_rating



Fiat Avventura vs Ford EcoSport feature comparison



Features and equipment

The cars we have here are the top of the line variants of both cars and in terms of pricing, they are about Rs 2 lakh apart. It wouldn’t be fair then to compare them in their top trims. The EcoSport is clearly much better equipped in the Titanium trim with its optional extras. These include six aibags and leather seats, but if you go for the Titanium trim with two airbags and fabric seats, the EcoSport is about Rs 40,000 cheaper. It still costs Rs 1.41 lakh more than the Avventura but the money seems well spent in the build and quality of materials all round. 


As far as features go, the ABS is standard on both but the Avventura also gets EBD. The EcoSport pulls one back by providing telescopic steering in addition to rake adjustment where the Avventura can only be adjusted for rake. You get keyless push button start stop and rear parking sensors in the EcoSport, but rear AC vents in the Avventura. The parking sensors are an important miss as we could see the test car had already cracked the spare wheel shell when we got it. All other features like climate control, steering mounted phone and audio controls, audio system with aux-in and USB connectivity are standard in both cars. The Avventura then overall is well equipped for its price and scores a half a point over the EcoSport. If price isn’t much of a concern, which we suppose seldom isn’t, the EcoSport in top trim is the way to go.


Fiat Avventura: Rating_3.5_rating

Ford EcoSport: Rating_3.0_rating



Fiat Avventura tracking



Ride, handling and ease of driving

It’s rare to have two non-Asian cars to compare in the sub Rs 10 lakh space but such is the segment that is forming. The build quality and chunkier feel can certainly be felt in both. The Avventura comes with hydraulic steering while the EcoSport is power assisted and the lack of feel in the latter is evident. Helpful at parking speeds but not much fun otherwise with no feedback. It weighs up well though and gives you confidence at high speeds. The Ecosport feels more planted too in a straight line and has better cruising ability as a result. The Avventura trades this stability for agility when shown a set of corners. Here the hydraulic steering offers excellent feedback to give you the confidence to push harder. 



Ford EcoSport tracking




Both cars ride well at speeds and have a slightly stiff set up at crawling speeds which is a good thing. Cars at this price point are set up way too soft otherwise. They need to take broken surfaces well in their stride to justify their cross tags and they do. External spare wheel and higher ground clearance notwithstanding, these two cars drive like hatchbacks though. It’s a good thing as they will mostly be used as urban city runabouts. The driving position isn’t ideal in the Fiat - a wide dead pedal with the other pedals offset to the right, but its overall more fun to drive than the EcoSport. 


Fiat Avventura: Rating_4.0_rating

Ford EcoSport: Rating_3.5_rating



Fiat Avventura engine shot



Engines and performance

The EcoSport comes with a 1.5-litre 91PS motor and the Avventura gets the 1.3-litre 93 PS multijet engine. Neither engine is a strong performer if you are looking for a brisk run but both do cruising in their mid-range well. The EcoSport has a wider power band demanding lesser gearshifts once you get going. It feels eager to pull harder and the extra 250cc of displacement makes its presence felt. Where the Fiat feels a bit strained the EcoSport is happily chugging along. 



Ford EcoSport Engine shot




Refinement though is better in the Avventura, the Multijet keeping things smooth till about 3,500rpm after which it begins to sound gruff. The EcoSport has more spring in its stride and a wide mid range but a rough and weak top end. It’s best to short shift both cars to keep things comfortable. As far as gearboxes go, both aren’t the best you will find but the EcoSport does the job better. 


Fiat Avventura: Rating_3.0_rating

Ford EcoSport: Rating_3.5_rating



Fiat Avventura rear tracking



Fuel Efficiency and price

ARAI figures of the Ford EcoSport stand at 22.7kmpl while the Avventura despite being lighter by about 35kg in top trim returns 20.5kmpl. The difference in the real world should be similar. The Ford may be more economical to run but costs Rs 1.41 lakh more in top trim. Priced at Rs 8.22 lakh for the Emotion variant, the Fiat Avventura is clearly a lot more affordable to buy than the Rs 9.63 lakh Ford EcoSport Titanium.


Fiat Avventura: Rating_3.5_rating

Ford EcoSport: Rating_3.0_rating



Ford EcoSport rear tracking





If only price could dictate terms, the Fiat Avventura would have been a clear favourite. But Indian customers time and again have shown that price isn’t top priority in a buying decision, a high quality package is, and the Ford EcoSport as a complete package is better than the Avventura. It feels a lot more solidly built, is an excellent highway cruiser, handles fairly well, has all the creature comforts you will require and has more space on the inside. The EcoSport then, is still the best crossover you can buy in India. 


Fiat Avventura: Rating_3.0_rating

Ford EcoSport: Rating_3.5_rating


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